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Canada bans TikTok on government phones and devices


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Canada has banned the use of TikTok on all government phones and other devices, citing data protection concerns.

TikTok, whose parent company ByteDance is Chinese, has faced increasing Western scrutiny in recent months over concerns about Beijing’s access to user data.

Starting Tuesday, the government said in a statement, “The TikTok app will be removed from government-issued mobile devices. Users of these devices will also be prevented from downloading the app in the future.”

It added that Canada’s Chief Information Officer “determined that it presented an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security”.

Although there is no evidence of government data breaches associated with the app, it warned that “TikTok’s data collection methods provide significant access to phone contents.”

The European Commission banned the app from its devices last week, following similar steps in the United States.

A TikTok spokesperson said the Canadian decision to ban TikTok was “intriguing” because it was made “without mentioning any specific security concerns” or consulting with the company.

Relations between China and Canada have deteriorated sharply in recent years, particularly after Canada’s arrest on a US warrant for a senior Huawei executive in 2018 and China’s retaliatory detention of two Canadian citizens.

Last week, Canada’s Privacy Commissioner launched an investigation into TikTok over the collection and use of users’ personal information.

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